Amid record COVID-19 surge, Seoul orders businesses to close early

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (UPI) — As the Seoul metropolitan area saw a record number of COVID-19 cases on Friday, Acting Mayor Seo Jeong-hyup declared a “desperate crisis” and announced measures that include forcing most businesses to close early each night.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported about 300 cases in the capital city on Friday amid a nationwide outbreak that reached a nine-month high.

Metro Seoul has been under Level 2 physical distancing guidelines, the third-highest level on South Korea’s 5-tier system, since Nov. 24. Seo said, however, current measures aren’t doing enough to stem the spread.

“The number of confirmed cases is snowballing,” the mayor said at an online press briefing. “It is impossible to respond to the crisis with the measures taken so far.”

Under the new restrictions, which take effect Saturday and will last for at least two weeks, restaurants, cafes and most stores must

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New service to help African small businesses establish online presence

By Thembelihle Mkhonza Time of article published44m ago

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JOHANNESBURG – Website builder BaseKit will partner with Liquid Telecom to provide a website and e-commerce builder to customers of the African telecoms provider.

In a statement on Wednesday, Liquid Telecom said the service would be available in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Liquid Telecom said its aim was to help thousands of businesses establish a presence online and to furnish its business customers with a “virtual workplace with tools designed to keep their business operating from anywhere”.

The group’s chief digital officer, David Beh, said: “Our business customers are incredibly important to us and we want to make their lives as easy as possible. Trading conditions are challenging in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. We hope that by helping businesses find other ways of trading, they stand a greater chance of success.”

Consulting

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Austin City Council Takes Steps Toward Relief For Live Music Venues And ‘Legacy’ Businesses

Austin’s struggling live music venues, restaurants, bars and longtime businesses are a step closer to getting some COVID-19-related relief from the city, but some are still holding out hope for quicker relief.

The Austin City Council approved Thursday the guidelines for two grant programs that total $10 million set aside for ailing businesses under the Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) resolution.

City Council also OK’d measures to pump more hotel occupancy tax revenue into businesses deemed “iconic” and approved a program to incentivize commercial landlords to lower rents for businesses.

Since the SAVES resolution’s passage in October, venues, musicians and other folks within Austin’s famed live music community have been awaiting substantial relief, as the outlook for federal relief is uncertain. The city doled out $800,000 in grants to more than 30 venues over the summer, but live music venues say they’re still struggling amid COVID-related closures.

The two

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Locals Rave About These Matawan-Aberdeen Businesses

ABERDEEN, NJ — Our small businesses need some love right now! Last week, we asked Patch readers all across New Jersey to nominate their favorite local businesses.

And here’s what we heard back, direct from locals in your area:

Shanghai Bun in Aberdeen. Chinese take-out or eat-in. 952 Rt. 34 in Matawan, NJ 07747 “Fantastic food, great prices, and they stayed open to keep us fed with take-out throughout the pandemic,” says customer Evelyn C. Leeper.

“Still making the best Chinese food around even now. Clean and fast pickup. We need to keep our local gems in business!” agrees customer David Eisenstein.

“Very authentic Chinese food. Great food unlike anything available elsewhere. Not expensive and consistent quality,” said customer Jeff Steinberg.

Abbate Bakery in Matawan. Italian and American baked goods. 247 Main St, Matawan, NJ 07747 “Great bakery, nice family-run business,” says customer Jake.

DeMarco’s in Aberdeen. Catering

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Small businesses see a small uptick with holiday sales

At least 100,000 small businesses have had to close permanently in the last nine months, according to data gathered by Yelp. Millions more have dealt with temporary closures and major losses in revenue.

Now, many remaining small businesses are reliant on a strong holiday shopping season, and there’s finally some good news for these business owners and their employees.

For example, at the Boston area small business called Boing Toy Shop, owner Kim Mitchell has been working overtime for the pasting nine months. She has had drastically change her business model.

“In certain ways, I feel like although I am in the same physical footprint, I am almost running a completely different business,” said Mitchell.

Since the start of the pandemic, Mitchell has had to shift more than half of her business online and added curbside pickup to keep her toy shop out of the red.

“In certain ways, I

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The Plot Against the Small Businesses.

If one were to consider the upward transfer of wealth and market share to Big Business since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one would think such economic changes were intended. After all, it’s no secret that the interests of politicians and the corporate elite align more often than not.

America’s small businesses currently face an attack on all fronts.

As we near a year of lockdowns and sheltering in place, the long-term effects of pandemic policy on the economy are becoming clearer. Almost every piece of legislation ostensibly designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus and protect workers has wreaked devastation on small businesses—while benefiting the largest corporations. Roughly 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed due to COVID-19, while big-box retailers, tech giants, and pharmaceutical manufacturers have seen record profits.

America’s small businesses currently face an attack on all fronts. First, there are the more visible policies

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Whitmer may extend partial shutdown of schools, businesses

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that her administration may extend portions of a three-week partial shutdown of schools and businesses next week because of the “sheer volume” of coronavirus cases in Michigan.

The Democratic governor said no decision had been made, but that hospitals can’t be overrun with COVID-19 patients. Although the infection curve has leveled off, it is a “dangerous moment” for the state, she said.

“As we get a few more days of information under our belts, we’ll be in a much stronger position to really assess if there are some things that maybe are safer to do,” Whitmer said during a news conference in which she reported continued progress addressing virus-related racial disparities. “But if we have to make some extensions of the current pause in some realms, that is sadly possible because of just the sheer volume of COVID” cases.

The state

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Why Small Businesses Need to Make the Pivot to Online

As the U.S enters the busiest time of the year for retailers, Amazon (AMZN) is thriving, saying on Dec. 1 that 2020 “has been the largest holiday shopping season so far in the company’s history.” Walmart (WMT) is seeing big gains in its online sales as well. And Target (TGT) reported a 155% surge in online sales in the third quarter.

But for many small businesses, the story is much different.

Uncertainty among small business in November was at its highest point in four years, according to the National Federation of Small Businesses. That’s due in part to consumers’ rapid shift to online shopping.

In the annual “U.S. Retail Index Study,” IBM data shows the pandemic has accelerated the shift from brick and mortar stores to online shopping by roughly five years. And that’s leaving many small businesses that have relied principally on foot traffic behind.

“The ones who

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Holiday gift ideas from D.C. small businesses

Saturday was “Small Business Saturday,” but small businesses should always be front-of-mind these days. Now more than ever, local shops and entrepreneurs deserve our support. But that’s pretty easy when what they’re making is this cool.

Compiled by Adele Chapin, Anying Guo, Fritz Hahn, Angela Haupt, Michael O’Sullivan and Stephanie Williams.

Appointed

Packages of stationery from Appointed arrive fastened with tape inscribed with the words “Beautiful Tools to Inspire Beautiful Work.” That’s graphic designer Suann Song’s mantra. After having a hard time finding “minimalist, super-functional, well-designed American-made paper products,” she decided to make them herself, launching Appointed in 2015. All the materials are purposefully selected (such as the U.S.-manufactured, water-resistant book cloth covers), and then almost everything is assembled in Appointed’s Ivy City warehouse. The signature product is Appointed’s monogrammable spiral-bound notebook ($24). But lately, Song’s having trouble keeping up with demand for planners, which went up more than fivefold

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City Discussing Ideas To Keep Businesses Alive

A coalition of more than 55 San Jose businesses is pushing local and state policy recommendations to help the once-thriving downtown core survive the pandemic.

Lawmakers at the city’s Rules and Open Government Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to bring 15 new policy recommendations to the San Jose City Council for discussion and approval.

“As we consider solutions for economic recovery, it is vital that we leverage the expertise of our local business community and elevate their voices — these recommendations do exactly that,” said Councilmember Raul Peralez, who spearheaded the group known as the Greater Downtown San Jose Economic Recovery Task Force.

Businesses ranging from small restaurants to art organizations and tech giants such as Adobe, called for city-backed grants and tax relief programs for businesses that were forced to spend extra on safety and outdoor equipment due to COVID-19. They are also championing an ordinance at the city level

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